There are those that see music as a giant, social experiment. It is not secret that music moves the soul, but for some musicians like, NYC artist Grey Gersten, how music moves you is more important than whether or not it does. Why does a certain sound make you dance? Why does a certain lyric make you cry? Why does a particular voice make you remember a childhood memory? Thus, Gersten’s new, debut record, Naked Light, treats kusic like a series of sonic triggers that he wishes for you to observe not just in bliss but in self-awareness.
While many artists, naturally, move to make music that is simply happy, Gersten approaches his new album, similarly to Holy Oak like, an anthropologist. Songs like, “Press Your Heart Against The Screen, “Burn”, and “To Imagine You” feel sung and played as if Gersten stopped his life like a movie, replayed a certain scene he had lived, and then decided to jot down details on how he would have re-arranged the set or re-played his role a little better. Admittedly, I cannot say that my journal is NOT a series of could have, would have, and should haves, of which Gersten’s journal is the same. Still, he also asks, “Why do we do that to ourselves?”. Why do we base our lives’ details more on what we could have done better than “the better” of what we did. Not everything is negative, but it sure feels and can be perceived that way. “Remain” ,“Planet Is Doomed”, and “You Can’t Stop” play with the notion that even the little good we have might be scraps from the wreckage of all that is bad. Thus, is it truly good? I am not elaborating this point to say Gersten’s album is depressing, although melancholia can be found in the fuzzed and greyed chords he arranges. What Gersten is trying to do is muddle perception and sound to help you see that all is choice; you decide what leaps to you and begins how you see a relationship, ‘Strange Love” or a world, “New York City”. From his streaming voice to strained strings, for Gersten, you decide what inspires you.
Gersten treats songs like a building of apartments, in which each one is designed specifically to a family’s taste. Thus, it is up to you whether Gersten’s clear, rivulet voice is what makes you drop into your spirit, or how each song, instrumentally, feels like a television soundtrack has been deconstructed for the moods it was purposed to ignite. There is not one moment where you don’t feel like Gersten is looking at life, both in his arrangements and lyrics, from a motion capture mentality. If you care to have such an experience then join Gersten on June 9 at the Emily Harvey Foundation; it is 9 hours of music performance, comedy, movies and donuts at dawn. YES PLEASE! For More Information On Grey Gersten And To Buy Naked Light On June 9 Click Here.